If you’ve ever had to throw on a hat to cover up your greasy hair on a bad hair day, you aren’t alone.
Oily hair can be embarrassing, and when you’re dealing with an embarrassing problem, you feel like you’re the only one in the world experiencing it.
But we promise you, tons of people deal with greasy hair and oily scalp problems every day. So we’re here to help you choose the best shampoo for oily hair.
Here are 7 of our top choices, as well as pro techniques to combat oily hair.
The 7 Best Shampoos for Oily Hair: A Complete Guide
Not all hair is created equal—even when it comes to specific issues like oily hair. Likewise, some people have allergies to harsh chemicals used in many commercial hair products, while others insist on clean, vegan beauty.
Whatever your needs, we’ve got a shampoo to help you de-grease your ‘do.
Best Vegan-Friendly Shampoo for Oily Hair
Looking for a shampoo that’s made without harmful chemicals? Public Goods’ Shampoo and Conditioner is made without parabens, synthetic fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, or anything from formaldehyde.
Our shampoo will remove excess sebum, or natural oil, without harsh detergents that strip and dry out your scalp, causing overproduction of sebum. Our natural ingredients will leave your hair feeling light and fluffy, and you’ll be feeling good about not using any ingredients that are harmful to you or the environment.
Best Clarifying Shampoo for Oily Hair
Clarifying shampoos like this one cut through product buildup with ease. This anti-residue shampoo claims to eliminate 90% of leftover product residue instantly, which makes it a top pick for best shampoo for oily hair. You only need to use this product once a week to notice a difference with your oily scalp.
Best Shampoo for Oily Hair with Dandruff
While dandruff is often associated with dry scalp, this isn’t always the case. Dandruff can occur with an oily scalp and greasy hair, too.
Go for the fan favorite in anti-dandruff drugstore shampoos with Head & Shoulders. The shampoo contains pyrithione zinc, which is an ingredient that will keep dandruff at bay.
Best Shampoo for Damaged Oily Hair
If you want to get rid of excess oil but also want to make sure that your damaged hair stays protected, try this shampoo.
Lia Hakim, master hair stylist and founder of Totally Hott Salon in Westchester, New York, says this product is one of her top choices for the best shampoo for oily hair. This shampoo promotes strength and prevents breakage by infusing your fine hair with vitamin B6 and biotin while ridding the scalp of excess oil. It’s also color-safe.
Best Exfoliating Shampoo for Oily Hair
If you want to go a step further than washing, spring for an exfoliating scalp scrub.
Hakim said you can think of these scrubs like a facial for your scalp. This luxurious exfoliating shampoo will physically remove buildup and dead skin cells on the scalp that may be preventing excess oil from naturally discharging. Exfoliation can help with dandruff, too.
Best Balancing Shampoo for Oily Hair
This balancing shampoo helps balance the oil on your scalp by using oil-absorbing bentonite clay. In fact, it promises 48 hours of fresh-feeling roots. Plus, with almost 2,000 reviews averaging 4.5 stays, this shampoo gets our vote for best shampoo for oily hair found at the drugstore.
Best Shampoo for Thin Oily Hair
If you have thin or fine hair, your oily scalp may appear even more pronounced. You can combat this by using a shampoo like this Garnier Fructis which is made specifically for fine hair. This product will remove itchy oil from the scalp and improve hair volume and thickness with vitamins, fruit, and plant extracts. This is also among the best drugstore shampoos for oily hair.
4 Do’s and Don’ts for Controlling Oily Hair
There are other ways to combat excess oil aside from switching up the type of shampoo you use. Even if you are using the best shampoo for oily hair, it can help to take these extra measures.
1. Do Use A Dry Shampoo
A dry shampoo can help you control oil in between washes and is great to use in a pinch if you don’t have time to wash your hair. Dry shampoo can come in the form of a spray or a powder. The main purpose of dry shampoo is to absorb excess oil. Just apply the dry shampoo, work it into your hair and scalp, and you’re good to go.
2. Don’t Overwash Your Hair
While your oily scalp and strands might leave you wanting to wash your hair more than usual, this can actually backfire on you.
“By over-washing hair, you are depriving the scalp of naturally produced oils and protein. The more you wash, the more [oil] your body will produce to compensate for over-washing,” says Hakim.
Using dry shampoo is a great way to avoid overwashing since it helps limit sebum production and reduces the appearance of greasy strands in between washes.
3. Don’t Apply Conditioner to Your Roots and Scalp
If you have greasy hair, conditioner can make matters worse.
Applying the conditioner too close to your roots can result in an oily scalp and a greasy appearance. Instead, stick to conditioning the middle and ends of your strands, which is where you really need to moisturize, and avoid conditioning too often. Be sure to rinse out all of the product thoroughly every time you condition.
4. Do Try Natural Remedies
On top of washing your hair with the best shampoo for oily hair, you can also try out some treatments using natural remedies. For example, aloe vera juice for hair can help remove oily buildup, and so can witch hazel for hair and scalp.
Ingredients to Avoid
Some ingredients can further contribute to buildup, dry scalp, and trapped sebum—things you definitely want to avoid if you have an oily scalp and greasy hair.
For example, certain shampoo ingredients like silicone and wax should be avoided since they can leave a buildup of residue on the scalp and hair, contributing to greasy hair, according to Hakim.
Other ingredients to avoid in hair products for overall hair and health reasons are:
- Sulfates: Sulfates can remove hair proteins and natural oils. You don’t want to strip the scalp of too much oil, as this can cause the sebaceous glands to produce even more oil. Plus, sulfates are not eco-friendly.
- Parabens: Parabens are found in many cosmetics including shampoos, however, they are potentially dangerous. Hakim says that parabens can act like estrogen and interfere with hormones. Because of this, it’s believed that parabens may cause cancer. Evidence is weak, but if you want to err on the side of caution, choose products that are paraben-free.
- Artificial dyes and fragrances: These can irritate your skin and scalp, causing the sebaceous glands to produce extra oil. Instead, opt for shampoos fragranced naturally with hair-healthy essential oils and fruit water.
- Phthalates: Phthalates may interfere with normal reproductive and hormonal systems in the body, according to Hakim.
Public Goods never uses these ingredients in any of our products due to their impact on overall health and on the environment.
Oily Hair is Manageable
While greasy hair can certainly be a pain, it is manageable with the right care. As long as you follow our tips and use the right products, you’ll be on track to having luscious, healthy hair, all without the unsightly oil. Thank us later!
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